Journalists, political activists protest killing of Wali Khan Babar
PESHAWAR: Media persons and political activists on Friday condemned the killing of Karachi-based reporter of Geo News, Wali Khan Babar, and asked the government to expose and arrest the killers and provide protection to the journalists.
Separate protests were held in the provincial metropolis to protest the killing of the journalist. The first demonstration was jointly organised by the Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), Peshawar Press Club and South Asia Free Media Association (Safma). The workers of the Awami National Party and Pakhtun Students Federation also protested the killing.
Holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans seeking arrest of the killers of Wali Khan Babar, a large number of journalists gathered outside the Press Club. They chanted slogans against the government for its failure to protect the journalists and people from others walks of life.
Syed Bukhar Shah of the KhUJ, Saiful Islam Saifi, president of Peshawar Press Club, and Shamim Shahid of Safma spoke on the occasion. Syed Bukhar Shah said it was a matter of shame for the Sindh government and Karachi administration that a young journalist was gunned down in front of the office of a senior police official and the killers managed to escape from the crime scene.
Saiful Islam Saifi said the 29-year-old Wali Khan Babar, a Pakhtun journalist from Zhob district of Balochistan, was not the first journalist targeted in the country. “Before him, 28 journalists were killed in various parts of the country in the last two years and the government could do nothing to expose the killers and give protection to members of the media,” he stressed. “The only sin of the journalists is that they are performing their duties honestly,” he said, adding that the government had failed to provide protection to the Pakhtun community in Karachi.
The protesters offered funeral prayer in absentia for the departed souls of Wali Khan Babar and seasoned journalist Minhaj Barna, who breathed his last on Friday. The activists of Pakhtun Students Federation and Awami National Party staged a separate demonstration to condemn the killing of Wali Khan Babar and other Pakhtuns in Karachi. Led by ANP Provincial Secretary Information Arbab Mohammad Tahir, the demonstrators marched from the Peshawar Press Club to Deans Plaza Chowk, where they staged a demonstration.
The protesters chanted slogans against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and held it responsible for lawlessness in Karachi. They called upon the government to purge Karachi of weapons and provide protection to the Pakhtuns.
MANSEHRA: The electronic and print media journalists on Friday staged a rally against the killing of Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar in Karachi. The rally, taken out from the Press Club, marched on various roads. The demonstrators chanted slogans and demanded the arrest of the killers.
Speaking on the occasion, Mian Mohammad Hussain, Nisar Ahmad Khan, Tahir Shahzad Tanoli, and Masood said the journalist community would continue protesting until the killers were arrested. “Journalist unions globally termed Pakistan a dangerous place for journalists. The government should provide protection to media personnel,” one of the speakers said.
SWABI: Leaders of Awami National Party and members of Gandhara Union of Journalists (GUJ) condemned the brutal killing of Wali Khan Babar in Karachi. Mohammad Rashid, a local ANP leader, demanded the arrest of the killers and asked the government to provide security to members of the media.
Meanwhile, the GUJ members in a unanimously adopted resolution said that the family of the slain journalist should be compensated and his killers brought to justice.
CHARSADDA: Workers and leaders of various political parties staged a rally to register their protest against the slaying of Wali Khan Babar. The protesters marched from the Press Club to Bacha Khan Chowk where the speakers asked the government to unmask the killers of the reporter.
NOWSHERA: Journalists and workers of different political parities condemned the killing of Wali Khan Babar by holding a demonstration. The speakers said they would intensify their protest if the government failed to arrest the killers and provided protection to the journalists.
MINGORA: A rally was also taken out in Mingora to protest the killing of the Karachi-based journalist. Addressing the protesters, Geo TV correspondent Mohammad Essa Khankhel said the government had failed to provide protection to its citizens. “Journalists are being punished for telling the truth,” he said.
Source: The News